Robert Cialdini’s Principles – Consistency Explained
Consistency is probably a good thing to follow in just about anything. Any strategy, whether it’s a marketing one, social media one, frequency of blogging and updating your site. Everything should be consistent and it’s especially true in content – you don’t want to spend months putting together great content and then release it all at once.
Especially in SEO (search engine optimisation), consistency is very important. Google likes websites that are updated frequently and consistently. The same applies to any social media content strategy – by strategising and releasing content on a regular basis, you have a potential to reach a much larger audience.
When you go to the gym, you have to be consistent to see results.
And it all takes time.
However, this is probably a topic to tackle in a different post – I just wanted to show you that consistency is crucial in everything you do!
In this post, I wanted to talk about consistency from a seller’s point of view and how important it is to focus on existing customers.
Studies and analytics show that the success rate of selling to a returning customer is 60 – 70% and only 10 – 20% to a new customer.
It can cost up to 5x more money and effort to get the new customer say yes!
People come back to buy from people they already know and trust – it all comes down to trust, doesn’t it? All over again.
Studies show that it takes as much as 7 interactions with a brand or an individual before people make the decision to purchase a product or a service. It may be a good idea to introduce a small voluntary commitment from a potential customer, such as an email sign up or a follow on social media.
Depending on what’s important to your business and what’s your goal – do you want a bigger social media audience or do you prefer building your own email list of people you can contact later?
I’m not a fan of email lists and I know every business person would probably crucify me for saying this but I believe that people’s email addresses are already full of spam and at open rates (how many people actually opened your email) are incredibly low. As low as just a couple of percent.
Now, 2% could be a lot of people if your entire newsletter consists of millions of subscribers. For a small business like myself, 2% probably means 2 people. Instead of the impersonal email, I can send a direct message on social media or a direct email to the right person. But that’s me. Every business is different.
For larger companies and global businesses, newsletter is a must – how else would you keep in touch with everyone and make sure they know you’ve just posted something on the blog? You’re not going to send a direct message to everyone individually, are you?
There is a certain journey every potential customer has to go through before they become a loyal one.
1) THEY DON’T KNOW WHO YOU ARE
At the very beginning, potential customers don’t know who you are and it’s your job to change that. The best and cheapest way is obviously to use valuable content. Share tips and interesting stories on your social media and blog – I suggest starting one of you don’t have one yet. You can read about why should you include a blog on your website in my other post.
Your main interest here should be to pique an interest, start a conversation and establish yourself as a knowledgeable authority in your field. This will help you to gain followers and perhaps an email list if you wish to follow that path.
Make sure your content is easy to understand and offers value. Don’t use any jargon or business talk – most people get bored with that.
2) THEY ARE INTERESTED
You probably caught someone’s attention if you have been consistent and valuable.
Now you need more content and even more value – try to narrow down who exactly your followers are and what issues they might be looking to solve with your content. If you’re not sure, ask! You probably already engaged with some on social media or comments below your blog posts.
Good idea is to include new type of content – testimonials or even case studies if the type of business allows you. Case studies are not just for medical products. You can have a case study written about anything you like; did your software help a company protect their files? Did you increase someone’s sales? Did your product help people lose weight?
Testimonials and case studies show how can you help your potential customer by using real stories. People want to know that someone already successfully used your service. And if they wrote a positive review about you, you must be good!
This closely ties with social proof I covered in one of my previous blog posts.
3) THEY BECOME A CUSTOMER
By now, the person has done their research and they made the decision to trust you enough and purchase a service or a product from you.
Make sure you make them know how to return to you and keep reminding them of your existence through further content contributions. Be active on your blog and social media. Being active on social media, however, doesn’t just mean posting consistently. Engage with comments and reply to direct messages – quicker the better. Get the conversation going while your followers are still active.
Pay attention to analytic tools to find out which days or hours are good for you depending on where your audience is from. You may be based in the UK but have US audience – this will affect the hours your followers are active compared to you.
4) THEY MAY BECOME A BRAND ADVOCATE
People who are advocates of your brand truly love you and continuously support you by sharing your content or recommending your services.
You need to keep them hooked too and contribute content that can be easily shared by them.
Also, consider setting up a group (Facebook, LinkedIn) to create a community.
5) THEY ARE A REGULAR CUSTOMER
Congratulations! You’ve turned a person who has no idea that your brand exists into a loyal customer!
Offer discounts and special offers to keep them interested and make them part of the community. Increase their trust in your abilities through empowering and informative webinars and further content on your website and social media.
You can also run a subscription for loyal customers, so that they can get exclusive content or offers that nobody else has access to.
Be consistent and active.
Engage with people.
Networking is the best way to connect and you never know who can contact you from your network. You don’t have to speak to everyone every day – post content and comment on other people’s posts. Make sure you are at the back of their mind in case they need service like yours.
Networking is the most powerful tool to land contacts and get referrals – LinkedIn is absolutely brilliant for this. You’d be surprised how well people remember you if you write an engaging post or – even better – an interesting or provocative article. You don’t need to be a writer to do that, just share something useful, funny, or personal.
You can also give me a shout if you need help with your content, such as:
- SEO Articles
- LinkedIn Articles
- Blog posts
- Email newsletter content
- Social media content
If you want to write content yourself, follow me on Instagram where I share useful tips on how to make your writing more interesting.
Use the icons at the top of the page to follow me on LinkedIn and Instagram.